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Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su engages in dialogue with Georgia AAPI leaders


Atlanta, May 17, 2024: Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su, in her personal capacity, met leaders from the Georgia AAPI community at the Peachy Corners Cafe on April 25. The event served as a platform to highlight the importance of voting, and the collaborative efforts of President Biden and Georgia Democrats in engaging AAPI constituents.

Joined by Georgia State Representatives Sam Park, Long Tran, Michelle Au, Marvin Lim, along with Kannan Udayarajan, Chairperson of Forsyth County Democrats, Acting Secretary Su spoke about amplifying the voices of AAPI constituents. Together, they emphasized the growing influence of the AAPI electorate in Georgia and its pivotal role in shaping political dynamics.

Su also spoke about the significant strides made in job creation, small business support, and equity initiatives under the Biden administration, particularly benefiting Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.

Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su (3rd from left) with Georgia AAPI leaders.

Su, who has a background as a civil rights attorney and organizer, emphasized the importance of community engagement. She stated, “You all truly are the reason I’m here. A democratic majority in the Senate, which we would not have if it were not for all of you.”

Su pointed to over 15 million jobs created and record-low unemployment rates during President Biden’s tenure.

The Acting Labor Secretary also addressed concerns about the cost of living, mentioning efforts to make healthcare more affordable and cap the cost of essential medications. “People need good jobs, but they also need to afford the things they need in life,” Su emphasized.

In terms of equity and opportunity, Su discussed government initiatives focused on Asian American issues, including efforts to provide disaggregated data on job status. She stated, “The Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the first time, put out monthly data on Asian American communities’ job status.”

Addressing concerns about discrimination and representation, Su stressed the importance of leadership and education to empower AAPI communities. Su emphasized the significance of data collection to accurately represent Asian American communities and proposed workforce housing initiatives to support workers who may not settle permanently in one location.

She highlighted the administration’s commitment to policies beyond job creation, including affordable housing, childcare, and language translations to ensure inclusivity in the workplace.

Photo courtesy: Kannan Udayarajan

A Q&A segment followed the Acting Labor Secretary’s address. Participants at the event raised concerns about engaging younger generations in political participation, citing global conflicts like the situation in Palestine as influential factors. Responding to questions, Su stressed the importance of credible leadership and diplomacy in addressing such conflicts and engaging young voters.

In conclusion, Su reiterated the administration’s commitment to economic progress and equity, stating, “We have a good story to tell about what this President has done and what he’s going to do. But a lot of things that we started cannot be finished if we don’t win this election right now.”

Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su dismisses fears of recession

In a conversation with NRI Pulse on the heels of the event, Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su provided an optimistic outlook on the U.S. economy and dismissed fears of an impending recession.

“No, the labor market is very strong,” she asserted. Since President Biden assumed office, she added, the U.S. economy has added 15 million jobs and the unemployment rate has remained below 4% for three consecutive years.

Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su (right) with Veena Rao of NRI Pulse.

The impact of AI on the labor market.

“The president has issued an Executive Order on Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence,” Su noted. This directive aims to guide the development and deployment of AI to foster job creation while ensuring safety and ethical standards. (FACT SHEET: President Biden Issues Executive Order on Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence | The White House)

Su said the administration is poised to release guidelines on best practices for AI usage. These guidelines will cover various aspects, including how to use AI, its developmental trajectory, and its societal implications.

“We need good leadership so that AI is developed in a proper way so it does not hurt people,” Su remarked. She said the Biden administration is committed to mitigating the potential negative impacts of AI on the workforce.

“Those who develop, deploy, and test AI should also be held responsible for all the impact of their work,” she said. She envisions AI as a tool that can complement human talent and enhance engineering capabilities. However, she also acknowledged concerns about job displacement due to AI.

“There will be some changes in jobs. So, we have to think about how to manage these transitions effectively.” Su emphasized the need for strategic planning and support systems to assist workers in adapting to new roles created by AI technologies.

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